Global Pet Expo, presented by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), held its 16th annual show from February 26 to 28 in Orlando, featuring a show floor spanning 354,100 net square feet of exhibit space.
Despite a travel ban due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that presented some of the show’s exhibitors from entering the U.S., total buyer attendance came in at 6,041, 22 percent of which consisted of international buyers representing 78 countries. Attendees from all 50 U.S. states were represented with an increase of 6 percent from the west coast specifically, while domestic attendance from mass-market buyers was up 17 percent over last year. Additionally, the Show featured 1,066 exhibiting companies with 3,541 booths filled with the latest in pet product innovations, many of which made their debut at this year’s event.
“The ways in which COVID-19 has changed the world are still unfolding. And while it wasn’t quite business as usual, we are extremely proud of the Global Pet Expo team for their tireless work to not only adapt to the changing landscape but pull off a safe and productive event with unparalleled show experience,” said Darmohraj. “With more than 20 percent of buyers registered coming to Global Pet Expo for four or more years consecutively, it demonstrates the vital role this trade show plays for pet retailers. It should also be noted we had 222 first-time exhibiting companies, recognizing Global Pet Expo as an exceptional opportunity for new entrepreneurs and businesses entering the industry.”
Now in its 10th year, the New Products Showcase “Best in Show” awards ceremony took place on the Show Floor where awards were handed out to Best in Show, second, and third place winners across nine categories. Necoichi Inc. took home the top prize in the Cat category with their new Raised Stress Free Cat Bowl and Handicappedpets.com took home the top Dog category award with the company’s Walkin’ Scooter. Buyers narrowed down top picks to determine this year’s winners. Visit the press section on globalpetexpo.org for a full list of the New Products Showcase winners.
The 2020 Global Pet Expo Academy attracted a record 2,000 attendees. The Academy, managed by PIDA, featured 15 speakers offering 46 hours of free retailer education on trending topics such as marketing, social media, store design, and customer service.
“We’re proud to offer free access to these first-class educational programs,” said PIDA President Celeste Powers. “This is the opportunity of the year to learn from many of pet retailing’s best-known authorities on a wide array of business-building topics. By providing retailers with this important education, it’s our goal that this information will not only deepen their knowledge but also put their businesses on the road to success in 2020 and beyond.”
During Global Pet Expo, APPA released its annual pet industry spending figures where APPA CEO Steve King reported that U.S. sales of pet products and services came in at $95.7 billion in 2019. King also released initial findings from APPA’s National Pet Owners Survey Generational Report, with refined data specific to the behavior and preferences of various generations.
“The pet industry is thriving and that is a direct result of passionate pet owners whose wants and needs for their pets continue to drive innovation,” said King. “Our demand for pet products and services very much mirrors those in our own lives, wanting the very best to care for our pets. I’m certain that the level of ingenuity in products we see at Global Pet Expo each year will continue to amaze and inspire attendees for years to come.”
Global Pet Expo is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers, and other qualified professionals. The 2021 Global Pet Expo will take place Wednesday through Friday, March 24-26, 2021 in Orlando, FL, at the Orange County Convention Center.